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Tag: Gábor Török

Gábor Török: Opposition Should Use 1990s-Era Fidesz as Model

An alliance of a number of small opposition parties with different world views doesn’t work, and without a strong party to overthrow Fidesz the opposition won’t have a chance, said political analyst Gábor Török in an interview with Magyar Hang.

The analyst said that long political work compounding over several election cycles is needed for this, pointing to Fidesz in the 1990s as a model for the opposition to adopt. But he also pointed to the Hungarian Two-Tailed Dog Party as a model that is “showing the way” in how to build a strong following in a determined and conscious way. [HVG]

Ukraine conflict poses risks for Fidesz election campaign, says Gábor Török

picture of Gábor Török

“What does the Russian-Ukrainian war mean for the Hungarian election campaign?” asked political analyst Gábor Török in a Facebook post following the outbreak of hostilities between the two nations. Common wisdom in such cases, he writes, holds that crisis situations not caused by the government usually favor those in power, because people are scared and look to their government for security and protection.

However, Török is not convinced that this is the case here. A war in a neighboring country can produce unexpected reactions and whip up emotions, “which is certainly not something the Hungarian government needs, when the status quo and the current domestic political situation seemed to favor them,” he writes.

The Hungarian Prime Minister was not prepared for this scenario. When he analyzed the situation with other party’s leaders in Balatonfüred a week ago, he did not, according to my sources, put war among the risks that he saw as realistic. But it happened anyway, and what is really dangerous for Fidesz from a domestic political point of view is how its own camp reacts. For the first time in a long time, a major issue may divide Fidesz’s voting base.

-wrote the political analyst.

Some pro-government opinion leaders have uncritically adopted the Russian position, he notes, but the news and images that come out of the war may even turn those who have been supportive of Viktor Orbán’s pro-Russia policy against Putin.

It may be key what the Prime Minister says, but no matter what he does he may not be able to meet expectations from either side. Obviously not in an international sense, but perhaps not even to his own camp: a peacock that dances on knives gets hurt easily. Luckily, the opposition continues to rush to his aid. In such situations, the opposition only needs to say one bad thing, and Péter Márki-Zay has already done so, when he talked about sending Hungarians and weapons to war a few days before it broke out.


Analyst Gábor Török pessimistic about opposition’s chances

picture of Gábor Török

The opposition’s primary elections did not solve all of its problems, but they were able to alter the political situation so that two major forces will now face off in the 2022 elections, said political analyst Gábor Török on ATV’s Egyenes Beszéd.

On the opposition’s choice of Peter Márki-Zay as its prime ministerial candidate, Török said that it is conceivable that he could be replaced, but it would be political suicide for the opposition to do so. It was no accident that Márki-Zay won the primary election, he said, so he sees little chance of this occurring.

But the analyst thinks Márki-Zay will struggle with trying to keep a group of 6-7 parties united during the campaign, as there is no united opposition per se, but several opposition parties with disparate interests.

In general, Gábor Török is pessimistic on the opposition winning the general election in April. While the united opposition list is neck-and-neck with Fidesz-KDNP in the polls, the ruling coalition’s massive advantage in areas such as political activity, organization, funding, and communication means that the opposition does not have much of a chance on paper.

As to the question of whether the bribery accusations of Fidesz politician Pál Völner could have an effect on undecided voters, he mentioned the intense media interest in the corruption scandal of Socialist politician Gábor Simon in 2014. Journalists even showed up in front of Simon’s house, and the issue influenced the election result in favor of Fidesz.

While Fidesz built its 2014 campaign on Gábor Simon and consciously focused on the topic every day in its messaging, Török said that there had not been nearly as much focus on Völner by the opposition.

By comparison, look at what the opposition has published about the Völner case: zero, as if it were summertime news with no value.

-stated Gábor Török. While one side has a powerful propaganda factory that puts out highly-aware, relentless, and consistent communication, the other side is running a divisive, back-and-forth, and impotent political campaign at the moment. That may change in the next few months, but from what he has witnessed so far, the analyst believes the performance of the two sides are not even comparable.

Despite this, Török says that Fidesz’s fundamental situation is much worse than ever, yet they are able to construct a plausible narrative. Moreover, since Fidesz also has access to massive resources, “I think it would be a huge surprise if the opposition were to win under such circumstances,” he ventured. If it were to occur, he said that it would be because of support from the electorate and not due to any political results.

[Magyar Hang]

Novák nomination a “logical and smart decision,” says analyst Török

picture of Gábor Török

Responding to the news of Viktor Orbán’s recently-announced plans to nominate Katalin Novák as the next President of Hungary, political analyst Gábor Török (pictured) called it a “logical and smart decision.”

The election for head of state is part of the campaign, said the analyst, so it is no coincidence that unpopular, divisive candidates speculated upon in the media dropped out of consideration.

When Parliament elects a head of state in the last weeks of the election campaign, the decision, and ensuing debate, becomes an even greater part of the campaign than before.

wrote Török on social media.

The political scientist stated that “this is why the unpopular, divisive and vulnerable candidates dropped out, even if, because of their loyalty, they could have been more useful to Viktor Orbán in the post-election political situation.”

Gábor Török added that Katalin Novák, however, “is not that much lower on the loyalty scale as much as she is higher on marketability.” He closed his post by claiming that with this decision, the opposition now has its work cut out for itself.